Tuesday, October 31, 2006

31-Oct-06: Fences? Who Needs Them?

Some insight from our friend David Frankfurter in Raanana (that's a snapshot of one of its neighborhoods, at right):

Israel's security fence has dropped from the news lately. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy's recent declaration somewhat explains the loss of interest. "I have significantly evolved on the matter of the separation fence. Although the wall was a moral and ethical problem for me, when I realised terror attacks were reduced by 80 percent in the areas where the wall was erected, I understood I didn't have the right to think that way," said Douste-Blazy.

How does it work? By making it harder to cross from the Palestinian Authority areas into Israel, smuggling is reduced, with traffic channelled through monitored border crossing points.

Before the fence was erected, Israeli security managed to prevent around 30% of attempted terrorist attacks. Today, the number is closer to 95%.

A case study is young 20 year old Israeli Arab Warud Qasem. Qasem worked in our local Ra'anana supermarket as a cashier. Her cousin was an illegal Palestinian worker in Ra'anana's Spaghettim restaurant. Three months ago, she joined Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. [You will recall that Al-Aksa is an official organ of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, and that many of its active terrorists received salaries and benefits from internationally funded Palestinian Authority budgets.]

Qasem was able to use her citizenship and familiarity with Israel to help weapons smuggling and to pinpoint terror targets. She recruited her cousin in a plan to plant a bomb in the Spaghettim Restaurant. But asked to smuggle the 7 kilogram bomb into Israel in her car (which has Israeli license plates) she demurred because the border police were likely to catch her. The bomb was driven around the West Bank, searching for a way around the fence into Israel, when Qasem was arrested with it in her possession. She is now facing charges - our town's citizens having been saved from attack by the security fence and the ever alert Israeli security services.

Of course, the intrepid Kofi Annan has never been one to let facts, public opinion or the potential saving of the lives of innocent civilians stand in the way of demonizing Israel. In his fading days as UN Secretary General, the ever-intrepid crusader for the rights of Palestinians to murder Jews has found yet another way to divert even more UN resources to the Palestinian international propaganda campaign. He is initiating an office to collect data and testimonies on damages caused by the separation fence to Palestinians in the West Bank. This "Register of Damage" is to be set up in Vienna, and is intended to serve possible future international adjudication. The office would simply collect and register claims, without any an evaluation or assessment of the loss or damage claimed. "The office of the Register of Damage would not be a compensation commission nor a claims-resolution facility, nor would it be a judicial or quasi-judicial body," said Annan, adding that "Israel also has an obligation to compensate, in accordance with the applicable rules of international law, all natural or legal persons having suffered any form of material damage as a result of the wall's construction."

It would be naive to ask what data collection Annan is undertaking to create a "Register of Damage" caused by Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians. It would be laughable to expect the UN to prepare a mechanism for potential compensation from the international funders and institutions (including the UN) who underwrote that terror for years.

Needless to say, if the Palestinians stopped the violent and criminal attacks against Israeli civilians, there would be no data to collect. There would be no damage to record. There would be no fence. Instead, there would be a basis for the peace that every Israeli yearns for. If only Anan would use UN influence and resources to resolve the Middle East dispute, instead of perpetuating it.

I guess, if confronted, the Secretary General might just paraphrase Douste-Blazy.
David blogs his thoughts regularly at http://dfrankfurter.livejournal.com/

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